Cornavirus: Top Three Priorities Today

Situation Update:  World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency for the novel (Wuhan) cornoavirus. There are currently over 37,000 cases with more than 800 people confirmed dead. There are confirmed cases in 25 countries outside of China.

What Has Changed: January 30th it was confirmed the virus was transferred from person to person in the United States after someone returned from visiting China. There is currently no vaccine.

How serous is this as a US resident? There have been 12 cases of the Wuhan virus in the US as of Wednesday. The person to person spread of the virus occurs when people are in close contact for a number of days with someone who carries the virus.

What to keep in mind for your business: This outbreak will continue, so as you think about the workplace over the next several days here are some considerations for you or your leadership team.

  1. Upcoming Travel: Some airlines have now suspended trips to China. Check your airlines for all cancellations and adjustments. For other travel updates, you can check the local airport for domestic travel updates and the State Department for international travel warnings. If you are traveling in the coming days possibly expect longer than usual lines and travel wait times. Also check local alerts from your local public health department.
  2. Working from Home Policy: What is the determining factor to have people work from home in your business. What would determine that and for how long would someone need to stay home? What leader has the authority to makes these decisions? Think about how this may impact your business operations. When deciding what action to take for any crisis this should not be a unilateral approach. It does need to be consistent with existing labor laws and regulations. Communicate with your HR partner, security/operations partner and legal counsel if necessary.
  3. Resource and Fact Sheet for the Virus: Here is an information resource for your business on the virus (symptoms, how individuals can protect themselves).

Jessica Robinson, CEO of PurePoint International, and works as a Virtual/Outsourced CISO to middle market business in financial services and insurance. You can reach her at


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